BGP arquitectura produced this remarkable landmark design that cerefully integrates within the dense and complex urban texture of downtown Mexico City.
The site was a trapezoidal urban lot was proposed as the site of a mixed use building for a major television network. This void, formed by colliding, haphazard street geometries, terminates a procession of densely packed blocks occupied by TELEVISA CHAPULTEPEC administration facilities. Immediately adjacent to the east, an eight story network executive office building as well as a TV transmission tower creates a physical urban edge. A solitary, unique floating island of space anchored in this urban setting, the site is part of a fragile urban context.
In search of a new image for the TELEVISA CHAPULTEPEC, the program called for the building's expression as an urban icon identifying the networks presence. Consisting of divergent needs, the program requested integration of various functions: a parking garage, office space for media services, union relations, and banking services, an employee cafeteria (to be used for dining as well as for parties, and concerts), executive dining facilities, conference rooms, and other recreational facilities.
This union of distinct and independent needs resulted in the proposal of the project as two superimposed forms. While both forms maintain the contours of the block, they are yet interdependent upon one another, each resolution existing as a distinct identity. Addressing the scale of the city, the public parking facility conforms to the urban space of the street. A dark, imposing monolith, the street level facade is punctured at only two points to permit vehicular and pedestrian ingression (security client’s regulations).
Responding to the explosive nature of this dense city zone, a silvery, BGP arquitectura's elliptical shell defines a continuous space where social activities take place. The upper western facade of the TELEVISA CHAPULTEPEC, defined by the superimposed metallic cone, maintains a closed relationship to the street. Beginning below the sectional focal points of the ellipse, the shell curves in on itself, exposing a hard, outer exoskeleton to the main vehicular artery and the poignant afternoon exposure. The shell, however, affords a sense of transparency along the eastern façade, shaded only bay horizontal louvers to encourage the use of it’s terraces during the mornings. Terminating above the section's geometrical centers, the ellipse opens the space back toward the network's facilities. In addition to providing this quality of spatial limitlessness, this partial elliptical section allows for the insertion of a two-story volume that maintains the food preparation facility.
In contrast, the service floor creates a transparent, formless transition between the superimposed forms. Sharing the same external contours as those of the parking facility, the intermediate level is surrounded by recessed glass curtain walls that define a continuous outdoor terrace along the building's perimeter.
Communicating the TELEVISA CHAPULTEPEC building to its surroundings, a series of vertical and horizontal circulation cores connect the overlaid forms. A flight of steps that pass behind an exterior wall provides entrance to the employees services at the southern end. The northern extreme of the office space is accessed from within the garage. A series of stairs enclosed in an inverted conical volume link the parking level to this floor as well as to the kitchen. Two flights of ramps joined by a landing at the office level subsequently provide access to the primary dining facility. Each ramp is cantilevered from a vertical plane that simultaneously serves as a street level billboard. Establishing an architectural vocabulary through the use of visual media, this plane represents a transformation of type in that the billboard assumes the structural and spatial roles of a wall. The sequence of ramps then concludes with an exterior vestibule covered by an overhead glazing system that spans from the back of the billboard to the southern glass facade of the cafeteria.
The dining area proper, seating 600, provides access via stairs to a second level maintaining a bar and lounge, the executive dining rooms, and conference halls. The east facade admits street level access to the parking lot, accommodating office workers as well as service to the cafeteria facility. The extreme northern tip, on the other hand, admits passage to employees and visitors via a covered ramp to an elevator core that transports them directly to the executive dining level.
Project: TELEVISA CHAPULTEPEC, Edificio de Servicios. Avenida Chapultepec No. 32, México, D.F.
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Architects: BGP arquitectura: Bernardo Gomez-Pimienta and E. Norten.
Premio “Pabellón Mies van der Rohe” de Arquitectura Latinoamericana, Barcelona España: Winner.
I Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura e Ing. Civil, Madrid, Finalist.
IV Bienal de Arq. Mexicana First Prize.
PA Awards Stanford, Connecticut Award.
Project team: Blanca Castañeda , Raul Acevedo, Jesus Alfredo Dominguez, Gustavo Espitia, Héctor L. Gámiz, Rebeca Golden, Margarita Goyzueta, Javier Presas, Roberto Sheinberg, Maria Carmen Zeballos.
Structure: Guy Nordenson.- Ove Arup + Partners, New York. Colinas de Buen, S.A., México.
Ceiling structure: AMS Derby Inc.- Robert Harbinson.
Construction year: 1994-95
client: TELEVISA S.A. de C.V.
Area: 7,500 m2
Photography: Luis Gordoa. Armando Hashimoto.